tv PBS News Hour PBS March 11, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: congress questions the president's war powers in the fight against islamic state militants. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also ahead this wednesday: opting out of common core. why more public school students refuse to take the new standardized tests. >> we're all opposed to this because this is not about learning. this is not about education. >> we needed a more rigorous assessment to address whether or not we were providing more rigorous >> ifill: protests, apologies and expulsions after a video captures fraternity brothers chanting racist slurs at the university of oklahoma. we talk with university president david boren.
>> we need to be educators and train students to think in new ways, to understand the feelings of others, to be sensitive to the feelings, and the rights of other people. >> woodruff: plus, >> it used to be boston strong but after this winter it's boston stubborn. >> woodruff: staying home or getting paid. the chilly effect of winter weather on wages for hourly workers. >> some employers simply said, "don't come in because we're closed. we can't-- we can't serve our customers. stay home and you're on your own." >> ifill: and, >> ♪ maybe i'm out of my mind. >> ifill: the verdict is in. the music industry reels after a jury rules robin thicke and pharrell williams blurred the copyright lines in their big hit. those are some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: a military investigation began today after a fatal helicopter crash during a night training mission along the florida gulf coast. seven u.s. marines from camp lejeune, north carolina, and four louisiana national guard
crewmen were presumed dead. their u.h.-60 black hawk helicopter went down in heavy fog, close to eglin air force base, between pensacola and destin. the louisiana guard commander said today it's unclear if the fog was a factor. >> they are very cognizant of weather conditions before they depart on a mission. but you know you could depart from one station and hit weather that you didn't expect and so the conditions have to be right for them to take off. now, what they run into while they're airborne is a different story. >> woodruff: the fog hampered search efforts, but teams found some human remains and debris, as they fanned out along a remote beach on the florida panhandle. >> ifill: the police chief of ferguson, missouri resigned today, in the latest fallout from a scathing federal report. tom jackson had been under pressure since a white officer killed michael brown, an unarmed
black teenager, last august. the officer was cleared, but the justice department found systemic racial bias in the city's police and courts. jackson is the sixth local officer to resign or be fired since the report came out. >> woodruff: the associated press went to federal court today, to force the state department to release hillary clinton's e-mails. in a statement, the news organization said: "(the documents) will shed light on actions by the state department and former secretary clinton... during some of the most significant issues of our time." clinton used a private account exclusively as secretary. she pledged yesterday that all her work-related e-mails will be made public. >> ifill: the secretary of state lashed out today at senate republicans who sent a letter to iran warning against a possible nuclear deal. john kerry has been leading the negotiations. he told a senate hearing that the letter, signed by 47 republicans, undermines american foreign policy.
>> my, reaction to the letter was utter disbelief. during my 29 years here in the senate i never heard of nor even heard of it being proposed anything comparable to this. >> ifill: kerry also challenged the letter's claim that any deal must have congressional approval, or it could expire the day president obama leaves office. tennessee senator bob corker chairing the hearing, answered with his own criticism. >> i will say that i didn't sign the letter. i'm very disappointed though that you have gone back on your statement. that any agreement must pass a muster of congress. the way we pass muster here is we vote. >> ifill: kerry meets iran's foreign minister next week for further talks, ahead of a deadline at the end of march. >> woodruff: 15 gunmen in france made off with millions of dollars in precious jewels
overnight, southeast of paris. investigators combed the burgundy countryside where the gang ambushed and then burned two transport vans. the drivers were forced from the vehicles and left unharmed. it's the latest in a string of major jewel robberies in france. >> ifill: in economic news, the european central bank chief said today the eurozone's recovery is gaining momentum and that a slowdown in growth has reversed. and on wall street, stocks gave a little more ground. the dow jones industrial average lost 27 points, but managed to stay above 17,600. the nasdaq fell about 10 points, and the s&p 500 slipped four. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: congress questions the plan to take down the islamic state group. students refuse to take common core tests. how to move a university forward after a racist video. why snow puts a freeze on hourly workers' wages. and, the blurred lines of
copyrights in the music industry. >> ifill: next, the fight against the islamic state group, from the frontlines, to the halls of congress. shiite militias and iraqi troops closed in today on islamic state militants in saddam hussein's hometown. >> ( translated ): our security troops have started advancing towards the centre of tikrit. we started clearing the neighborhoods close to the city center. >> ifill: just 80 miles north of baghdad, tikrit lies on the main road to iraq's second-largest city, mosul, still held by isis, or isil. in their largest offensive yet, iraqi forces have been advancing on tikrit and surrounding villages for more than a week. american air power has played no role because the shiite militias
dominate the attacking force, and they're backed by iran. >> they're going to run isil out of tikrit. >> ifill: u.s. military leaders welcome the advance, but they also warn of possible shiite reprisals against sunnis. general martin dempsey chairs the joint chiefs. >> the question is what comes after in terms of their willingness to let sunni families move back into their neighborhoods, whether they work to restore the basic services that are going to be necessary or whether it results in atrocities and retribution. >> ifill: dempsey and the secretaries of state and defense went before the senate foreign relations committee this morning. they were there to seek authorization for a war that's already been under way for seven months against isis forces. the president has ordered thousands of air strikes, and dispatched 3,000 ground troops to train iraqis. but he does not want americans directly involved in the fighting. that priority highlighted stark divisions between democrats and republicans. >> what that does on this side
of the aisle is put republican senators in the position of looking at a limited authorization for the use of military force that, in some ways, ratifies a strategy, especially in syria, that many people do not believe is effective. >> there's a need to define exactly what would be allowed. and it would seem to me that, legally, there is at least the potential for large numbers of u.s. troops to be deployed in iraq and syria, and maybe beyond, with the authorization as submitted. >> ifill: indeed, secretary of state john kerry said there is no geographic limitation confining operations to iraq and syria. that, he argued, would only aid the militants he called dash using their arabic acronym. >> what a mistake it would be to send the message to daesh that there are safe havens, that there is somehow just a two- country limitation. >> ifill: fighting also continues in northern iraq, along a 650-mile battle line.
last summer, isis came within 20 miles of the kurdish regional capital, erbil. but kurdish peshmerga, backed by thunderous coalition air strikes, have now retaken land just west of kirkuk. leading the fight: the president of the semi-autonomous kurdistan regional government, masoud barzani. initially, his forces received little of the u.s. arms that flowed to baghdad, but chairman dempsey told colorado republican cory gardner today, that could be changing. >> we think we've-- we've managed our way through that. >> and, so, right now, you feel confident that the process which we've-- arms will reach erbil, or is now being settled and resolved? >> i am confident that we broke through the initial friction but it doesn't mean it won't recur. >> ifill: earlier this week special correspondent jane arraf traveled to northern iraq to interview masoud barzani. she began by asking him about the arms issue. >> reporter: you've said in the past that the u.s. should be
playing perhaps a more active role here they should be doing more, should be supplying under weapons. do you still feel that way? >> ( translated ): we are satisfied with the air support. we are getting good support, but in reality, to this property moment, we have the same view as in the the past on arming and equipping the peshmerga forces with the right weapons. it's not to the standard we want. >> reporter: there's been a lot of concern in various parts of the world about the role that iran is playing here, particularly with the militias that it's backing. do you share that concern? >> ( translated ): we have a principle-- wherever we can strike we're not going to hold back and whoever will take part and help us attack i.s., we will thank them. right now i don't share that concern if upper asking me about helping to fight and defeat i.s. what happens after that, we can't predict. >> reporter: do you worry that at some point the peshmerga, the kurdish forces could endip
fighting the shi'a militias? >> ( translated ): i don't envision that. right now we are in an alliance to fight i.s. i am hoping no one singling of that. we never wish to fight with anyone. make no mistake. whoever is going to attack the region, we will defend ourselves, but right now that is unimaginable. >> reporter: a lot of this fight now is moving into almost purely sunni arab territory-- tikrit, mosul-- what role do you see the peshmerga playing in those fights? >> ( translated ): if there's a program to liberate mosul or anywhere else that is on the door stecht kurdistan region, we can study the situation. in principle, we have no objections in helping the iraqi military forces, the popular mobilization forces and the sunni forces. if they have a program, we will help and support them, but we are not going to do anything on our own. >> reporter: the kurds have been through many battles, of course. it's part of your kurdish history, but this-- this enemy,
the islamic state group, seems like nothing that you've battled before. for instance they've captured 21 of your peshmerga and they're threatening to behead them on a major kurdish hol day. how are you able to confront something like that? >> ( translated ): it's true, this is a different type of fight to all the others we've fought before. the tactic is different. the style of the fighter is different. the peshmerga and the kurdish people have been given the honor of defeating and tarnishing the image of i.s. of course, it is very sad to see a group of them falling into the hands of i.s. ofwe will try the utmost to free them but if that doesn't materialize we will classify them as martyrs and the number of our martyrs will increase. >> reporter: just a few months before this came up, before the islamic state group came in and seized all this territory last year, there was some talk you would be pushing towards move for vcialg independence.
has that all been set aside or pushed back now? >> ( translated ): the conflict delayed this process, but the process is still valid. we're not going to abandon it. we're going to do it through dialogue. we will talk with baghdad about it. we are not going to challenge people. we are not going to fight with them. but as i said, the process is still valid, and we're not going to retreat from it but we need to study. we need to use wisdom. we need to be united. we can't use force. we cannot shed blood. >> reporter: just finally the islamic state group and their advance into iraq and syria has really changed the course of history in many ways. do you think it has changed kurdish history in any sense? >> ( translated ): i can't say they changed the course of history, but it strengthened the spirit of defense and sacrifice, and the unity of the kurdish people a great deal. >> reporter: president barzani, thank you so much. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: testing for the common core learning standards in u.s. public schools began earlier this month. and just as a rebellion is brewing against the common core there are now protests building against the national tests associated with them. reports of students refusing to take the tests are coming in daily, and if those numbers keep building, it could endanger the goals of the standards themselves. our special correspondent for education john merrow has the story from new jersey. >> we're live, we're live. >> reporter: something big is happening in new jersey, and it's being broadcast on youtube. >> if you're following us on twitter or instagram, make sure you use the tash tags occupy nps. >> reporter: in newark, high school students occupied the superintendent's office for three days. one of their issues-- the common core test. >> this is a pretty big deal. we're taking back our district. >> politicians actually get very nervous when they see how many
people are against one thing. they have money power. they have political power, put we have people power. >> reporter: it's happening in montclair, where a protest group released this video. >> we're fighting back. >> i'm trying to push back against the test because i'm not just a number and i'm not a dollar sign. >> we are refusing the test. refuse the test. >> reporter: and it's happening in the state capital. >> in conclusion the high-strikes standardized tests will hurt our students, teachers, and school. that is why i am repewses the test. when i heard about what happened in new york, how like, 60,000 people opted out and i thought wow, that's something we can do about it. >> reporter: park is one of two national tests of the common core state standards being given to about 15 million students starting with third graders in 28 states in washington, d.c. this spring. the common core and the tests have their defenders. >> i think the common core state standards have upped the ante for everybody that it is,
indeed, more rig rution russ. so we need a more rigorous assessment to address whether or not we were providing more rigorous instruction. >> reporter: but resistance to common core testing has been building. in florida, new york, washington, colorado, and elsewhere, including new jersey which has 590 school districts 1.4 million students and these days, anti-testing activity just about every night, often with strong language. >> i'm willing to go as far as i have to go in order to get this done. i would be arrested because of this. >> reporter: protesters are from across the spectrum and from opposite sides of the political aisle. >> we don't want a national school board. we really don't. >> reporter: carol lee adams is new jersey president of the eagle forum a conservative group. >> when it comed to, perhaps, social issues we may not agree, but on this issue, we are shoulder to shoulder-- parents, conservatives progressives, the
teachers-- we're all opposed to this because this is not about learning. this is not about education. >> and it's really exciting, john because it's pure democracy. >> reporter: julia rubin is one of the founders of save our schools new jersey. >> nobody really cares about the ideology of the group. it's about saving our schools. it's about protecting those children. >> reporter: strange bedfellows is what they say? >> and it's so much fun. one message many voices. and that winning strategy. >> reporter: the message-- tests take away from teaching and learning. >> they're impacting the kind of education kids are getting because they're eating up a lot of introduction time with test preparation and test drilling. if what you're measuring is english and math then all the unimportant subjects like art and exphiewsk science and social studies languages-- you know that gets put aside. so how was your day? >> reporter: her 12-year-old daughter singles out the park test. >> reporter: have you taken is? >> i have taken some sample tests. >> what did you think?
>> it's very confusing. you're supposed to pick one right answer which is hard for a lot of people. people. >> reporter: but the test must have a right answer. >> they did have a right answer. they had a defined right answer but they asked, "which of these are not the main idea?" but all of them tied in to the idea so everybody had a different answer because everybody interpreted text differently. there's never going to be one right way to solve a problem so why should there be one right answer? >> reporter: left and right object to the costs of the test. >> they're saying new jersey needs at least deputy 575 million. i have heard of schools with a shortfall of half a million and three-quarters of a million. it is something. this is costly. >> reporter: students will spend up to 11 hours taking the test over nine days. most will take them on computers and everyone is expecting glitches. >> they don't be what the computer thing is going to be like. a lot of them, there's, like all these different problems like dragging dragging and dropping, and a lot of student don't know how to do this kind of stuff on the computer. >> i think the open people who
benefit from this would be those who are selling the test because the districts are not well off from the testing. students are certainly not well off from the testing. >> it's a very big problem. >> reporter: as the protests have picked up steam, the education establishment has gone on the offensive. >> the old standardized test merely evaluated tome's ability to memorize basic facts. the new assessments measure deep understanding of the types of problems he will encounter in the real world. >> reporter: in new jersey, most school superintendents are defending the test, including jersey city superintendent marcia lyles. >> we want to prepare our students to think about thinking. when they graduate from high school, it's not just a regurgitation or memorization of everything. >> reporter: she believes higher standards will create a level playing field in mostly african american and latino districts. >> it will have the effect of making sure everybody has the same expectation. it's about shared expectations for everybody. and i think that for certain
students and certain groups that we didn't have the same expectation. >> reporter: 70% of her 28,000 students qualify for free or reduced price lynch. but as they say the critics say all this test is going to do is remind them that they fail tests. >> so they'll be reminded that they're not successful when they leave high school and they can't get into a college of their choice or they have to take remedial course work. we need to know now how they are performing. we need to know now so that we can provide the interventions necessary. and this will help us craft that. >> there's absolutely no data to show that impose thank-- quote unquote-- accountability has improved educational outcomes. in fact just the opposite. inequality has increased. what the tests primarily measure is the wealth of their families and the educational background of their families. >> reporter: scores on the park won't determine whether students are promoted. however, teachers in several stase including new jersey, will be judged on the results.
>> it certainly impacts the teachers directly. and if teachers are miserable and demoteivated, it certainly affects the students. >> reporter: what happens to students who opt out is up to individual school districts. some are taking a hard line and making them sit at their desks during the testing hours-- no books to read nothing. if a kid is opting out, will he or she just have to sit and stare? >> oh, no. >> reporter: or will there be-- >> no we will have-- we will have alternatives for student whose parents withdraw them from the test. >> reporter: but the superintendent is not telling parents about this policy. >> we are not promoting withdrawing from the test. we really want our students to participate in this assessment. >> reporter: the park test will be administered in new jersey throughout this month and again in may. meanwhile, protesters seem to be growing more determined. >> i think this is exactly democracy looks like. it's coming out in numbers, showing exactly what the people want. >> reporter: how strong is this grass-roots test refusal
movement? politicians are paying attention. 12 states have already dropped the common core tests and others are considering it. i'm john merrow reporting from newark, new jersey for the pbs newshour. >> ifill: it's too early to say just how many students are opting out so far but we'll stay on the story and report back this spring with the results. >> woodruff: now, the continuing fallout at the university of oklahoma after members of the sigma alpha epsilon fraternity were caught on camera singing racist epithets. the video came out saturday and action was taken within 48 hours. but the university, the national fraternity and others are still the focus of many concerns. >> woodruff: it's the chant that sparked outrage across the nation.
>> woodruff: the ten-second video triggered protests, and was quickly condemned by university president david boren. >> this has broken my heart that this has happen on our campus. we have such a strong community, people respect each other. this is not representative of our students. >> woodruff: on monday, the university closed its chapter of the sigma alpha epsilon fraternity, and members were forced to move out of the house by last night. >> are you embarrassed? >> extremely. can i say anything else? >> i'm very embarrassed. >> do you have a place to go? >> yes. >> woodruff: yesterday, two students who led the chant were expelled, but not officially identified. apologies quickly followed. 19-year-old parker rice of dallas, texas, said in a statement: "...i am deeply sorry for what i did. this is a devastating lesson and i am seeking guidance on how i can learn from this." and the parents of 20-year-old levi pettit said, in their own statement:
"he made a horrible mistake and will live with the consequences forever." the university of oklahoma has indicated more people could face punishment after officials finish their investigation. >> woodruff: and i'm joined now by david boren, the president of the university of oklahoma. governor boren, is there any new information about the origin of that song the fraternity members were singing or about who else was involved? >> well we're really trying to track that down. it appears, at least on our campus, it was this one chapter of the s.a.e. fraternity. i think there are questions about whether or not this is embedded in other chapters across the country, and whether or not they've learned it in national meetings and other places. so it's symptomatic of what is happening across our country. clearly, you heard our students-- i'm so proud of them-- speak out with a single voice, "not at owl university," because real sooner respect each
other and care about each other and they're not racist. they really come forward in a way that's warmed my heart to speak with one voice for our university. we're just not going to put up with this here, and the fact that we closed the house. we've sent them packing. and i hope as they go they'll think long and hard about the pain that their words has caused. >> woodruff: governor born-- >> has caused. >> woodruff: excuse me. what about the fraternity's house mother, i guess is her title. she was seen in a 2013 video singing another racist chant? will something happen to her? >> well she's an employee not of the university but of the s.a.e. fraternity. so with the closing of the fraternity and they're off this campus, as far as i'm concerned, they're not coming back as long as i'm president of this university, so she no longer has a job, andic and i think that's appropriate. you know judy to me-- and i've thought so much about this over the last several hours and after
the initial shock has worn off-- i thought what is causing this? what can we do about this? all across our country. you know, ferguson, missouri other campuses, other places. these things are happening. and i think we just have to-- have to say we have zero tolerance for racism. and that means all of us, and we have to act decisively and immediately and, you know, all of us as americans, not just on our campus, but everywhere when we hear racist jokes or off-hand comments or even in social situations, we have to start standing up up and stay, "no, we won't put up with that. that's not who we are." >> woodruff: even with a zero-tolerance policy, we know instances like this continue to happen. why is that? do you think that racism is so inglaind in some corners of our society that it will just never be done away with? >> no, it is deeply ingrained,
and there are subtle forms of discrimination all around us, and we're trying to examine all of them wherever they exist on our campus and come forward with positive solutions. but i do think is it goes back to what i just said. i think that we have become not vill gant enough about standing up and speak out when people make comments, maybe little offhand comments, but whatever. we have to have our voice heard and we have to say it. we have to thereto be known it's not socially acceptable in this country to not show respect for other americans, other human beings. and i think we really have to be loud about it. this is outrageous. it's disgraceful. and we have to say it's outrageous and disgraceful. and at an educational institution when bad things happen, you hope that student will learn from them. i've-- i've read this public statements of the two young men and a letter of apology i received personally from one of them, i think they are
regretful, but on the other hand, they have to pay a price. i'm sorry, but they have to pay a price. they've done something they shouldn't do and they have to learn from it. >> woodruff: how far does the responsibility go, though for something like this? i mean, you've taken some responsibility as the president of the university. the national fraternity has obviously, been talking about it. what about parents? what about others in the community who may be aware of this kind of behavior but haven't acted on it? >> they have-- they have a duty to come forward. you know, you look back at the-- and students, we cannot insulate ourselves from the broader society. students come here, what have they learned at home when they come? what have they learned in high school when they come? what does society around them find acceptable when they come? and we have to deal with that. we can't avoid it. but where we find that they've come with a set of values that are not thoroughly right, when they come with a wrong outlook,
we need to be educators and train students to think in new ways, to understand the feelings of others, to be sensitive to the feelings and the rights of other people because we're talking about, also a chant that talks about excluding them from a fraternity, threatening them, talking about hanging them from a tree. now, i thought we got by that a long time ago. we just celebrated the 50th anniversary of selma and to have something like that said in this day in this year it's just-- it's reprehensible. but you're right we're not separated from the rest of society and we have to be allowed voice in that whole society our kohl wholecountry and try to do something about it. >> woodruff: i'm sorry to interrupt. some people are saying that this is-- this is embedded in a fraternity greek culture on college campuses? how much do you think that is to blame for what happened? >> well, i think that's probably
painted with-- that's painting with a single-- with a broad brush. for example, here on our campus, i've been look at the demographic data from one chapter to another, one sorority, one fraternity to another, there are some that are very, very diverse. they don't just have a few token members of other races and people of other persuasions. they are very broad and diverse. others are not so broad and diverse. so part of the greek system and they really work hard, i think, to develop these community-wide activities, for example and broaden their base. others don't. and i think that what we have to do is make sure that those that are lagging behind start joining the others. we've made a lot of progress here in the last few years, but so much more needs to be done, and we're going to work together. one of the great things that's happening here now is i'm being flooded by suggestions from our students, our football team our sororities recently, other
student organizations. here"here are some ideas we think we could implement to help things." that means a lot it me pup can't just give an order from on high and do away with racism in our society. you have sothough showwhy it's wrong teach students lessons and you have to hope they'll come forward and take ownership of these changes themselves, and that appears to be what's happening here. >> woodruff: and it may be something healthy will come out of all this. >> i hope it will. i hope out of this tragedy something good will come. >> woodruff: the president of the university of oklahoma, david boren we thank you for talking with us. >> thank you very much. >> ifill: it's been a tough winter in so many ways, especially in boston and other parts of the northeast. yes, spring is finally in sight. along the new england coastline, huge, melting blocks of ice are beginning to wash up along cape cod.
but some forecasts suggest boston could get yet one more snowfall this weekend. it comes as the season's wicked weather has forced businesses to make tough decisions affecting workers already stretched thin. special correspondent rick karr reports. >> reporter: kerry's commute stresses him out when the weather is fine. after a shift of hisicatering job on the harvard campus, he drives to tewksbury, picks up his children from his parents' house, then drives to his own place in lawrence. it usually takes an hour. but during one of this winter's worst storms, it turned into three and a half hours of white-knuckled terror. >> i was right in the heart of the storm. it was just awful and scary. i was watching cars spin out. i was just waiting for one to spin out into me. >> reporter: he dreads another commute under those conditions or worse. harvard university students need to be fed, even during the worse storms, so the workers who feed them don't get snow days.
>> we have to be here. they claim that we're critical personnel. so i mean, that's a fine line between being critical and risking your life to come into work. >> reporter: he missed three days of work because of the weather. he used vacation time for two of them but that means he won't have them when he goes on a six-week mandatory furlough in may. missing third day cost him $300 in income. >> every dollar that's lost by a low-wage worker is one that, you know, makes it harder and harder to meet the month's rent or to put food on theitably or to make the car payments. so all of that adds stress. >> reporter: thomas cockin teaches at m.i.t.'s sloan school of management. he says some hourly workers took a hit from the slump in business, so management didn't feel as much pain. >> some employers simply said, "don't come in because we're closed. we can't-- we can't serve our customers. stay home. and you're on your own."
>> reporter: kochan is more impressed when small business owners do the opposite. >> they've tried to accommodate the employees who come in and they find other things to do-- to do some repairs, to do some cleaning. and that creates a stronger bond between the employer and the employee because it shows that we really care for each other. we've made the extra effort to get here. you've made the extra effort to help us earn some money. >> diner owner saul sodle did that and more for his employees. he 20 the diner open 24 hours a day, seven days a week storm after storm except when governor charlie baker ordered all businesses to close. sidle picked employeesip and drove them home. but a few didn't want to work. >> "i'm not coming to work." you be i have to shovel and i'm tired and i'm not coming to work tonight." with no other excuse.
>> reporter: around 10% of the diner staff quit, and the 90% who stayed? >> i think that's boston stubborn. it used to be boston strong but after this winter it's boston stubborn. we really-- you know people want to see us break the record at this point. >> reporter: for kerry mayotteo family is more important than anything. his wife is also an hourly employee at harvard. she faced the same struggles and the cut in pay. this is the first winter that kerry has considered moving south, but this is where he's from. winter is almost over and the weather is getting warmer. for the pbs newshour, i'm rick karr reporting from lawrence massachusetts. >> ifill: on tomorrow's "making sense thursday," economics correspondent paul solman reports on the flatiron school, where, after 12 weeks of intense training in computer coding, 99% of students land well-paying tech jobs. >> i couldn't find anything. i couldn't find even an interview. people would not respond back to the emails and once i finished
the program and i changed my job title to a software engineer. just like that same hour, my inbox was full of messages. just like people sending emails and calling you. >> reporter: how did you feel? >> i felt like i was on top of the mountain, like i was powerful. where were you guys a couple of months ago when i was looking for a job? >> woodruff: don't go anywhere we'll be back with the hit song "blurred lines," marvin gaye, and how an l.a. jury just shook up music making. but first, it's pledge week on pbs. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support.
>> brown: for northern peru jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. >> ifill: we turn now to a legal decision that's resonating loudly in the music business. when is a borrowed beat, or melody, or syncopation simple theft. and when is it artistic creativity? in the case of the monster 2013 hit, "blurred lines," a jury has ruled that songwriters lifted liberally from a marvin gaye classic. listen and see what you hear
>> >> ifill: the first song, written and performed by robin thicke and pharrell williams was of course, "blurred lines." the second was marvin gaye's 1977 hit "got to give it up." gaye's children claimed the rhythm and background elements of their father's song were plagiarized. the jury agreed that thicke and williams infringed on the copyright, and awarded the family $7.3 million. but the ripple effect could add up to much more. kory grow covered the case for "rolling stone." kory, the music industry has responded almost uniformly that they believe this will create a chilling effect on creativity. why is that? >> the reaction a lot of people have been giving is that people might be afraid to try to emulate a sound or try to emulate a feeling or they feel that maybe, you know, if they stumble on a-- the song or if they're just being creative, that it might be hartening back to something else. it's kind of a system of checks and balances, i guess, that they think this sets a precedent for.
>> ifill: how is what happened here different from what we hear all the time-- sampling little bits and pieces, snatches of songs that show up in different places? how is this different? >> sampling specifically is when you take a piece of recorded music and using it with the blatant-- sampling is when you take a piece of music and you're using it and you're saying that you're using it. what they're saying here is that they purposely took elements of "got to give it up--" as you say, the baseline maybe some of the chord changes-- and used those for their song without giving it any credit. >> ifill: i heard an interesting thing. the jury didn't actually hear what we just heard. they had to-- >> right. >> ifill: they had to make this decision based on sheet music. >> it was based on sheet music and they were also able to hear version of "got to give it up" that contained the protected elements of the song. because "got to give it up" was filed before 1978, the only parts of it that were covered were the elements of the sheet music. so it would be stuff that a
piano could play, you know, the bass part, the harmonies, the melodies, the rhythm. but it wouldn't have the cow bell or the party sounds or the kind of atmosphere that you would hear in the recorded version. but they were able to hear the recorded version of "blurred lines." >> ifill: even without hearing what the original sound like, they were able to make that decision. but how is this different from other cases? for instance we read recently about sam smith the new breakout british stark settling out of court with tom petty over his song "stand by me." basically, admitting that, yes, he was inspired by the other song. >> i think that's a different case in the sense that sam smith, like you're saying, that they settled, that they didn't take it there. this is an interesting case with "blurred lines" because even after the verdict came in robin thicke and pharrell said this is a genuine, unique, creative, you know, statement. it wasn't at all borrowed from "got to give it up" in their
opinion and they're standing by that. >> ifill, of course, i said "stand by me." the song was "stay with me." a big big difference there. what is the difference between paying homage to an earlier songwriter and theft? >> it's-- you know, not to make a joke, but there is a pretty fine line. and it's something that they had to prove by showing that the bass lines and the certain parts of the song were similar. and it's also one of things where you have to wonder if a jury understands or can read sheet music. but it was presented in a way that they ruled the way that they ruled. >> sreenivasan: so what happens now? what does this decision mean for what happens every time you hear this song played in the future? do the gaye children now get a piece of this? >> they will as long as ago there's going to be a court back-and-forth still. the lawyers for robin thicke and for pharrell are going to examine their options. there are still a few more steps they would need to take before they got to a court of appeals. but there will definitely be
back-and-forth between them. the lawyer for marvin gaye's family told me he was going to try to get an injunction so the song couldn't be sold until they came to an agreement over money. , until they're making sure they are getting paid. so it kind of depends on the way that goes. but it is sort of a murky area. but i'm sure-- being the music industry, they'll kind a way to go forward. but, yes the gayes i would imagine, the way, with this verdict holding, the gayes would be getting a portion of "blurred lines." >> ifill: what happens now with that song every time it plays? do lawyers have to get involve the at the front end instead of the back end? >> i hope not. i believe that people should be able to create compositions that they feel are unique. i think that it's possible that lawyers might be reviewing things but i think it's also a very hard thing to prove. but i think that right now, artists should just feel the right to be create and i have see where it takes them. >> ifill: kory grow of "rolling stone" thank you very
much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: finally, to our "newshour shares" of the day. something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you, too. fans of the game of cricket have been glued to their tvs this month for the sport's quadrennial world cup. even if you've never heard of a "six over the boundary," or can't tell a wicket from your elbow, there is a part of the game you may enjoy. several countries involved have created their own theme songs for the contest-- with accompanying bollywood-style videos. here are a few of our favorites. ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> woodruff: you may have noticed, no video from the u.s. only one team from the western hemisphere made the world cup this time-- the west indies team, composed of players from several island nations. >> ifill: again the major developments of the day. seven u.s. marines and four national guardsmen were presumed dead after their helicopter crashed during night training along the florida gulf coast. the police chief of ferguson, missouri resigned, in the wake of a federal report that found systemic racial bias in his ranks, and the city courts. and shiite militias and iraqi government troops fought their
way into the city of tikrit, as they pressed an offensive against islamic state forces. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, meet the massive prehistoric sea creature that's believed to fill in a gap in the evolution of insects. learn how a fossil found in the sahara desert explains how spiders got legs. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, we head to israel for a preview of their upcoming elections. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you on-line, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer.
>> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the worlds most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
this is "nightly business report sue herera. stress relief. the federal reserve releases the final results of the bank stress test. and now the big financials are giving back in the form of buybacks dividends. emerging concerns as the dollar strength ch the strain. and something with exposure to the region should pay attention to. and the ties that bind. why the federal reserve may have a big dollar dilemma on its hands. all that and more for "nightly business report," wednesday, march 11th. good evening, everyone and welcome. stocks failed to hold their gains, extending yesterday's big slide as the dollar continued to climb but we begin tonight with the final results of the bank's stress test. 28 of 31 large